The scary world of no social media

IMG_3598Creating space in my life is one of the most difficult things for me.

Because there is so much I want to do.

Because I find it hard to shut down.

Because I’m worried I’ll miss out if I don’t do this, read this, learn that.

Because it’s plain uncomfortable being still: “But I could be doing this; but I need to get on with that; but what about that thing I meant to do yesterday?”

And life these days makes it hard to slow down.

Social media is an example.

I love social media (particularly Instagram):

IMG_3111I get to share and build a wonderful pictorial diary, I can keep in touch with my friends, I meet the most amazing people worldwide, I am inspired by art every day and I really feel part of a community.

But, I dislike social media:

I feel compelled to check it…to keep up. (I gave up reading newspapers when I was 30 because of this same feeling – and here it is again in a different form!).

I let it fill those small breather moments. Those glipmses of stop: when I’m watching the dinner or waiting a couple of minutes for the washing machine to finish.

– I often think about how a compostion will look or seem on social media before I think of it as a piece of art or a moment in my life. Yuk!

I don’t like my son seeing me on a phone.

I often check it early in the morning. I know this isn’t ideal and I’ve been watching it become more of a habit.

I use it to fill time when I could be r.e.s.t.i.n.g. And who doesn’t need more rest?!

Filling my life with things isn’t positive.

I forget that I have feet on the floor.

My head is full of noise when it comes to bedtime.

Space is vital.

IMG_2619I do have moments of space in my life.

I turn my phone onto ‘airplane mode’ at 8pm – I pick up a book or I revel in silence. I make space for creating. I occasionally leave my phone at home when I go out. I play lego with my son and do nothing else.

But it’s a battle to get me to make that time and I want more.

As this is posting I am on an 8-hour train ride with my husband, Rob, and our son, Gabriel. We are leaving Cornwall for a month and heading to the South East of England. We’ll see family. Rob and I will head to a gorgeous hotel for 2 nights (I won the stay in a competition and we’ll use it to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary). Then I’ll escape to Italy for a few days on my own – I miss it so much, the trip is virtually medicinal.

And I’ve decided it’s a great opportunity to have a social media break.

It was not an easy decision to make. And I feel so silly saying that – what am I, an addict?!!

Well, yes, I think I am.

It’s so easy, when you are using it every day, to think that social media is the world. But it’s not.

My world is my husband, my son and my art.

So even though I’ll be creating my way through this time and having wonderful experiences, I’ve decided not to share.

IMG_3679I’m taking a drawing pad, some colours, a notebook and my ‘proper’ camera. I’m going to lean in to those moments when there’s space, when I’d usually be preparing a photo, checking my feed or responding to comments. I’m going to look up, daydream, notice something real, breathe, feel my feet, give thanks and rest.

…I’m sure I’ll be talking about it when we return to Cornwall in September.

Until then, enjoy these few photographic scenes from my studio this past month.

xx

6 Comments
  1. I read this because I’m working up to the same. Facebook was easy but I have enjoyed instagram over the years. However the delight is not the same. I identified with so many of your reasons here. It definitely is an anxiety provoking addiction for many. Catching trains and buses and watching everyone’s total lack of connection with real time is …. reality. I think generations to come will look back at us in amazement. I hope so! Enjoy a beautiful break. I’m sure it won’t be the last 🙂 nic

    1. Thanks Nicole. I say set a date. I did that and as it approached I felt more and more positive about it. 2 days in and I’m still in the relaxing into it stage…:-)

  2. Oh gosh, I can relate so much Alison! Insta is a hungry beast and I try to check my habits with it every day, but it’s tricky as its a powerful driver of business. It’s a journey I guess we are all on, trying our best to navigate. Have a wonderful time away and good on you for disconnecting for a while. I look forward to seeing what you create! Suse x

  3. Alison – I looked for you on IG because I wondered if you had started to post again and as I’m in Sardinia again I was thinking about you and your love of Italy. You post is so true – sometimes I think there is that subliminal thought that we are trying to feed our feeds rather than living our lives. I hope you are enjoying your social media free month but I’m looking forward to seeing what you have created usurping the quiet. Mary xx

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